Open for special occasions and events. Please check Facebook and this web site for opening announcements.
To make arrangements for group tours call 706 695-4313
For rentals call 706 695-4416.
Chair: Dale Lowman
Thomas the Tank Engine Day Comes to the Chatsworth Depot; Wright Hotel Open, Too
Both properties will be open for guided tours from 1:00pm until 4:00pm, Saturday, August 13.
The Chatsworth Depot and the Wright Hotel, properties of the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society, announce the final Second Saturday opening for 2022. Both properties will be open for guided tours from 1:00pm until 4:00pm, Saturday, August 13. This last summer opening will celebrate Thomas the Tank Engine at the Depot and feature several special displays at the Hotel. Admission to tours, trains, and displays is free, but donations are appreciated.
The Chatsworth Depot is the oldest building in town, built in 1905 by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. The passenger waiting room contains a talc museum showcasing the talc industry in Murray County. The station agent’s office and the freight room contain historic railroad artifacts and exhibits related to the depot. The 1960 caboose, located behind the Depot, will be open for visitors to see. Historical society members will be present to give tours and answer questions.
Thomas and his friends, in both HO and the larger G Scale, will be special guests for August, running on model train tracks both indoors and outdoors at the Depot. The popular ‘Big Blue Train’ will make its second appearance this year giving train rides to those in attendance. There will be a special area inside the depot with wooden Brio Trains for the smallest train fans to get ‘hands on’ playtime with Thomas and friends. Youngsters from 1 to 100 love operating model trains, especially Thomas and his friends from the island of Sodor.
For the first time ever, there will be kid powered train rides at the Chatsworth Depot! Kids crank these cars with their hands (somewhat like riding a bicycle, but with your hands) to power themselves around the track. The train car runs on 7/8-gauge track and carries the youngsters at their own paces. Each person rides and powers his/her own car.
The Historic Wright Hotel (1909), a one-of-a-kind structure in north Georgia which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will feature a new miniature lamp display. This collection of small kerosene lamps was donated to the Society by Kathryn Sellers of Dalton and is being shown for the first time. Also, visitors will have one more opportunity to see the Nannie Arthur painting collection as well as the Keith Store/Tennga exhibit which have been highlights this year. The revamped nurse’s station will again be open as well as the guest, museum, dining and living rooms, along with the office/gift shop which are part of every tour of this amazing building, located at the corner of Market Street and Second Avenue in downtown Chatsworth.
The Historical Society would like to thank the 2022 business partners that make the programs presented this year possible. Many have been supporting the Depot and its Second Saturday openings for several years. The 2022 partners are Peeples Funeral Home, Bradley Ace Hardware, Bojangles, Captain D’s & Krystal restaurants, Dr. John Robson, Chatsworth First Community Bank, and the Murray County Elected Officials. Be sure to tell them you appreciate their supporting the historic properties of Chatsworth anytime you visit or contact one of these.
Check out the Depot, Hotel, and Caboose on Facebook.
Thomas Wright, the creator of the Wright Hotel, opened his once flourishing business in 1909. An influx of Northerners and Southerners alike flocked to the rural town of Chatsworth to drink the refreshing mineral waters, enjoy cool mountain breezes, and to dine on Southern-style cooking. Mr. Wright, a farmer, builder and architect, along with his cousin supervised the construction of the three-story hotel. Not only was it a hotel, but also the home of the Wright family, which included his wife and six children. Mr. Wright rented a brick plant for a year to make the rose colored bricks to build his hotel. The heart pine lumber need for construction was cut from his farm and aged for a year. The hotel has served many including jurors, school teachers, judges, politicians, and honeymooners.
Many historic displays and memorabilia can be viewed here such as the rock that is present at the bottom of the stairs—mail for the guests was placed under this rock, the 7-foot tub in which Mr. Wright was baptized, original furniture and Indian pottery and baskets. The hotel also houses a collection of nursing paraphernalia belonging to Kate Raine, daughter of Mr. Wright, who served as a nurse on the Indian reservations of the southwest. Hotel registers dating to the 1920s give a glimpse of those who stayed there while it was thriving business.
Mrs. Raine left the Wright Hotel to the historical society upon her death in 1986. The society promised to preserve and maintain the site as close as possible to its original condition. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Share Your Stories of the Wright Hotel
"While I was working at an open house at the Wright Hotel a lady came in with her daughter and granddaughters. She told them she had spent her honeymoon night at the hotel. I offered to look in the register book to see if we could find her name and there it was. We were all excited and I think the children looked at the hotel a little different." ~ Melissa Burchfield
Do you have a story passed down in your family about the time they might have spent at the Hotel? Or maybe you met and spent time with Mrs. Kate Wright Raines, the last family member to own the Hotel. The Wright Hotel Committee is looking for stories about the Wright Family and Hotel for a new book. Please send to Whitfield-Murray Historical Society, P.O. Box 6180, Dalton, GA 30722-6180.